Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Choosing What To Read

Choosing what to read at any public event is important. Well, unless you're not actually supposed to be reading there. Then it's just downright rude.

There's the big question: will you be funny, dark, philosophical, colourful, witty and/or charming?  Sure, those are important and I'm confident you'll figure it out. Other people have said wise things about this in the past - go read their blog posts.

Here, we're just going to stick to technicalities for a minute.

What if you have a cold and your voice gives out on you?  Now we're talking important stuff.  I tend to lose my voice (very sad for a performing storyteller) and I've learned many tricks to working around it when necessary.

At my first Ad Astra AND my first reading at a con, which I shared with the ever entertaining Hayden Trenholm, I had no voice. It just didn't bother showing up that morning (which would unfortunately become a common theme for me at cons. Wussy, wussy voice.) 

I didn't think about backing out of my reading, but I also didn't think about changing them to fit my complete lack of voice.  I was reading two scenes from Destiny's Blood.  One had a bunch of dialogue, and inflections are absolutely impossible to do without a voice.  Trust me on that one.  I sounded like I was having a muted yet forced conversation with myself. I had to add dialogue tags as I read so people knew who the heck was wheezing out all of my finely crafted witty sentences.

Being done that scene was a relief.  The next scene had only a few lines of dialogue.  Oh ya, and singing! Have you ever tried to sing without a voice? I have.  It's painful for everyone: the audience, the singer, the spirits of your ancestors eating popcorn in the back row... 

I was a trooper though. I got through it. And, when I looked up, everyone was looking down trying not to laugh.  So I started laughing, which sounded like a gerbil was choking in my throat.

That was my first reading. It's a miracle they still let me do these things!! 

So, tonight I have a radio interview where I've been asked to do a short reading from next week's ChiSeries. Except I'm still fighting my Christmas flu and my voice is almost existent but not quite. I've been testing my pitches and I can do lower pitches. So no dialogue and no laughing for me. And for the love of all that's good and just in this world, no singing.  I selected something short from Destiny's War. I think it's a good passage to get people interested in both the event and the book, and to make sure my voice doesn't give out halfway through.

... now, if only I can refrain from laughing during the interview, everything should be just fine...

See how successful I am at that tonight on CHUO FM Click Here!